Wednesday May 30, 2012

The Mount Everett Regional girls won't be sneaking up on anybody this year.

The Eagles, 16-4, are the No. 2 seed in this year's Division III Western Mass. Softball Tourna ment. Last year, the Eagles were seeded No. 7, but went all the way to the Division III Finals, where they lost, 1-0, to eventual state champion Turners Falls.

Of course, should the Eagles advance to the finals again, they may well face Turners again. The 18-2 Indians are the top seed in the division.

Mount Everett gets a first-round bye, and will open the quarterfinal round at home against the winner of No. 7 Pathfinder and No. 10 Westfield Voke at Pathfinder. The Eagles play next Monday in Sheffield at 4 p.m.

Mount Everett was one of two local teams in the Division III tournament. St. Joseph's, 14-6, is the No. 4 seed. The Crusaders also have a first-round bye, and will travel to Ware Thursday at 4 p.m. for a quarterfinal game.

As usual, the field with the most Berkshire teams will be in Division II. A total of four county teams are in that bracket, led by Mount Greylock at the No. 4 seed. The 15-5 Mounties will await the winner of the Wahconah-Athol game tomorrow in Dalton at 3:30.

The defending state champion Warriors are the fifth seed. Wahconah started slowly, generating an initial 2-4 record. But coach Dustin Belcher's squad regrouped sand finished the year with an 11-3 run that included an eight-game winning streak.


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"I'm happy with a five [seed]," said Belcher. "We have a young team, and to be honest, I think it's probably better that we have a first-round game. But it will come down this year to what it came down to last year: We have to play good defense.

"There are lot of good teams in Division II, but I think we can compete with any of them," he said.

The two other Division II squads are No. 8 Drury at 12-6 and No. 9 Hoosac at 11-9.

Those two teams will meet Thursday in North Adams at 4 p.m. in a first-round game.

The Warriors ripped through last year's Western Mass. tournament, outscoring their opponents by a combined mark of 26-4, en route to the first state championship in the program.

Pittsfield High, with a mark of 16-4, is the No. 8 seed, and the lone Berkshire team in Division I. The Generals will once again open with Northampton Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Generals met up with the Blue Devils last year, winning 8-7 in eight innings.

Should Pittsfield get past Northampton, the Generals will face top seed Minnechaug (17-3) on June 2 at Minnechaug.